Colorado air quality ranked fourth worst in world, doctors warn of health risks

Doctors tell 11 News inhaling wildfire smoke increases your risk of cancer. The doctor also says a lot of chemicals can stay in your lungs for a long time.
Sunday saw smoke in Colorado start to subside, but the impacts could last long past the smoke itself.
Published: May. 21, 2023 at 4:49 AM MDT|Updated: May. 21, 2023 at 11:39 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - The air quality in Colorado was ranked at the fourth worst in the world Saturday. Doctors in Colorado Springs are now warning people of health risks with inhaling wildfire smoke.

Dr. Richard Vu with Matthews-Vu Medical Group tells 11 News when the air index quality is high like this, you have to take extra precautions for your health. If you are driving, keep your windows closed and turn on your air conditioning. This helps to circulate the air. You can do the same inside of your home.

Vu is warning everyone of the symptoms you should be watching out for right now.

“The red flags are shortness of breath and coughing,” said Vu. “Anyone with chronic heart and lung problems should be extra cautious. Also check for signs of stroke, such as weakness and slow speech.”

Vu also says to stay inside if you absolutely do not need to be outdoors. Long-term risks of inhaling wildfire smoke include cancer.